The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has officially announced the fuel prices for December. Despite positive news overall, with both grades of petrol seeing a decrease of 65 cents per litre and diesel dropping by between R2.35 (500ppm) and R2.41 (50ppm), the reductions face some erosion due to retail margin hikes embedded in the price structure by the DMRE, as reported by IOL. The over-recovery of 99 cents per litre on petrol, attributed to lower international oil prices and a slightly stronger rand, would have decreased that amount. However, the DMRE has approved a 60-cent increase in retail and wholesale margins and secondary storage and distribution. Fortunately, a 26-cent decrease in the Slate Levy has partially offset this increase.
When the December fuel prices decrease on Wednesday, December 06, a litre of 95 Unleaded petrol will cost R22.53 at the coast and R23.25 in Gauteng, where 93 Unleaded will retail at R22.79. The wholesale price of 50ppm diesel will decrease to R21.28 at the coast and R21.99 inland, excluding the retail margins that vary between outlets.
Owners of diesel-powered one-tonne bakkies and similar large SUVs can anticipate significant savings at the pumps in December. A 70-litre refuel is estimated to translate to a saving of around R176 per tank. Conversely, a 30-litre refuel of a small petrol-powered hatchback should save approximately R19.50, while putting 50 litres into a midsize car should cost R32.50 less than in November.
The Automobile Association (AA) expressed that South Africans planning long journeys for their end-of-year holidays will likely be pleased with this news, especially those who feel the impact when diesel prices increase. The association, however, urged motorists to ensure their vehicles are in good mechanical condition ahead of holiday road trips, highlighting the importance of maintaining proper tire pressure as recommended by the manufacturer.
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